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In Border States, BATFE Asks: “May We See Your Guns?”

National Rifle Association

National Rifle Association

US Border States- -(AmmoLand.com)- NRA-ILA has recently received several calls from NRA members in border states who have been visited or called by agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. In some cases, agents have asked to enter these people’s homes, and requested serial numbers of all firearms the members possess.

In each case, the agents were making inquiries based on the number of firearms these NRA members had recently bought, and in some cases the agents said they were asking because the members had bought types of guns that are frequently recovered in Mexico.

This kind of questioning may or may not be part of a legitimate criminal investigation. For example, when BATFE traces a gun seized after use in a crime, manufacturers’ and dealers’ records will normally lead to the first retail buyer of that gun, and investigators will have to interview the buyer to find out how the gun ended up in criminal hands. But in other cases, the questioning may simply be based on information in dealers’ records, with agents trying to “profile” potentially suspicious purchases.

On the other hand, some of the agents have used heavy-handed tactics. One reportedly demanded that a gun owner return home early from a business trip, while another threatened to “report” an NRA member as “refusing to cooperate.” That kind of behavior is outrageous and unprofessional.

Whether agents act appropriately or not, concerned gun owners should remember that all constitutional protections apply. Answering questions in this type of investigation is generally an individual choice. Most importantly, there are only a few relatively rare exceptions to the general Fourth Amendment requirement that law enforcement officials need a warrant to enter a home without the residents’ consent. There is nothing wrong with politely, but firmly, asserting your rights.

If BATFE contacts you and you have any question about how to respond, you may want to consult a local attorney. NRA members may also call NRA-ILA’s Office of Legislative Counsel at (703) 267-1161 for further information. Whether contacting a local attorney or NRA, be sure to provide as many details as possible, including the date, time, and location, agent’s name, and specific questions asked.

About:
Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America’s oldest civil rights and sportsmen’s group. Four million members strong, NRA continues its mission to uphold Second Amendment rights and to advocate enforcement of existing laws against violent offenders to reduce crime. The Association remains the nation’s leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the military.

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  • 2 User comments to “BATFE Asks To See Your Guns?”

    1. DO NOT LET THEM IN THE HOUSE!!!! Ask for Identification, Write down the name on the ID and any other information if you have a copy machine make a copy of the ID card. Ask for the plate number on the car, ask for the make, model and year of the car. Refuse to answer any questions until you have all of the information you want. Include date, time, description of individuals. Ask for a phone number that you can call for verification. In short you do the questioning, they are on your property without authorization. After you have completed interrogating them, inform them that you need to talk to your attorney and the NRA. In the mean time they can get a search warrant. Make it more difficult for them. Keep in mind you do not REALLY know who they are, ID’s are easy for criminals to make!!!

    2. It’s spooky what ATF is up to these days. Just yesterday my local store was being audited for the tobacco tax increase. It included counting EVERY single product in stock (tobacco). The store owner was told he had (30) days to pay the $1.00 tax on all items in stock or face fines.

      I wonder if the same’s going for Liquor stores?…Something smells rotten about this, because the core items used to barter during a collapse in society are….Guns, Booze, Tobacco…do they know something they’re not telling?

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